By Gene Cherry
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) – Ethiopian Olympic and world
champion Kenenisa Bekele will defend his 10,000 metres world title
later this month despite not having raced since early 2010, his
manager said on Tuesday.
“He is going to Daegu and (will) run. He is training well,” Jos
Hermens told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Bekele, 29, has never lost a 10,000 race on the track but his lack of
competitive action means he will be under added pressure at the Aug.
27-Sept. 4 worlds in Daegu, South Korea .
His 12 victories at the distance since 2003 include two Olympic and
four world titles along with two world records.
If Bekele wins in Daegu, he would become the first runner at any
distance to win five consecutive outdoor world titles.
Only pole vaulter Sergei Bubka has more, claiming six in a row
competing for the Soviet Union and Ukraine in the 1980s and ’90s.
Bekele ruptured a muscle in his right calf in February 2010 and has
not raced since because of a variety of problems. His last race was in
January of last year.
“He is quite fit but it is difficult to say what will happen, even for
me, because he has not raced,” said Hermens, a former world class
Bekele was assured of wild-card spots as the world champion at 5,000
and 10,000 but whether he competes in both will be determined by how
well he runs over te longer distance.
“Once it goes well, you never know, he might do everything. He has
surprised me so many times,” Hermens said.